The AIA St. Paul chapter is pleased to announce that Theodore Wright, AIA, has been awarded first place and a cash prize of $1,500 as the winner of the 2020 St. Paul Prize Design Competition. Second place was awarded to the team of Dantes Ha, Assoc. AIA, and Alyssa Maristela, AIA. Zach Kern, Assoc. AIA, was awarded third place. Theodore will have the opportunity to present his winning design at an upcoming virtual “Food for Thought” event.

This year’s design challenge focused on the southwest corner of Rice Street and Larpenteur Avenue. Currently a large strip mall and parking lot, anchored by the My Thrift Store, a Speedway gas station and apartment building occupy the block. Many of Ramsey County’s poorest families and newest immigrants live near this location which is at the intersection of the Saint Paul, Maplewood, and Roseville city boundaries. This site is also a key parcel in the future redevelopment and reinvestment strategies laid out in the Rice-Larpenteur Vision Plan.  The intent of the competition was to create an attractive destination that will attract business, create a vibrant pedestrian street life, and provide spaces and facilities to serve a diverse mix of residents, most of whom have children.

A jury met in mid-December to review the submitted entries and select the winning designs. Jurors included Amy Meller, AIA, 2020 President of the St. Paul chapter of AIA Minnesota; board members Michael Hanslick, AIA, Steven Wolf, AIA, and Jessica Ainsworth-Truong, Assoc. AIA; members of the 21st Century Design Framework; members from the City of St. Paul Planning Department; and representatives from the North End Neighborhood Organization. 

At a virtual event on February 24, 2021, the first-, second-, and third-place winners of the 2020 competition presented their design proposals to an audience of chapter members. The video of those presentations is below.

2019 Competition Winners

The team of Adam Lapacz, Assoc. AIA and Chirag Khurana, both of Pope Architects, was awarded first place and a cash prize of $1,500 for the 2019 competition. Honorable Mention was awarded to Zach Kern, Assoc. AIA